We have created electronic circuitry that is soft and stretchable and capable of spontaneously reforming electrical connections when the material is cut, torn, or punctured. It is made of microscopic droplets of liquid metal that are suspended in a soft silicone rubber.
Professor Cagdas Onal receives $500,000 grant for robots that combine soft and rigid properties; Robots can help in disaster zones or assist those physically challenged with everyday tasks
If robots are capable of rapidly adjusting their dampness, stiffing and dynamics, like octopi are, the added flexibility can make for more versatile robotics than ever.
The watery creation could lead to soft robots that mimic sea animals like the octopus, which can walk underwater and bump into things without damaging them.
If a robot is dealing with electronics, it needs to know whether its hand is sliding along a wire or pulling on it. If the robot needs to hold a medical instrument, it needs to know if the object is slipping or in a firm grip.
The mission of my lab is to discover new types of materials that will allow machines, robots, and electronics to be more compatible with our everyday environment.
Soft, Self-healing Devices Mimic Biological Muscles, Point to Next Generation of Human-like Robotics
The soft devices can perform a variety of tasks, including grasping delicate objects such as a raspberry and a raw egg, as well as lifting heavy objects. HASEL actuators exceed or match the strength, speed and efficiency of biological muscle.
Scott Schrage, University of Nebraska-Lincoln via Phys.org: The technique, which creates a stronger chemical bond between silicone and an unprecedented array of plastics, could greatly reduce the time, complexity and expense needed to produce the microfluidic devices.
James Vincent for The Verge: Each muscle consists of a sealed bag filled with air or fluid, containing a folding origami structure that functions as the skeleton.
Duncan Geere for Tech Radar: Now researchers from UniversitŠ Paris-Saclay are attempting to bestow the same benefits onto robots. Adriana Tapus and her colleagues are aiming to develop a humanoid robot that's sensitive to tactile stimulation in the same way people are.
Penn's School of Engineering and Applied Science: Burka hopes to build up a database of one thousand surfaces to help coach robots on how to identify objects and also to know what they're made of and how best to handle them.
David Gianatasio for AdWeek: Unless you've been lost at sea, you've probably heard about the giant robotic squid that Old Spice deployed last weekend for a wacky, high-profile internet game on Twitch.
Matthew Humphries for PCMag: Catching a fish can be tough, even if you are just trying to net a goldfish in a small tank. That's because the fish spots the danger and makes a swim for it. But what if you didn't need a net because you're controlling an invisible grabbing robot? That's what Xuanhe Zhao, a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT succeeded in creating, but its applications go way beyond catching and releasing fish unharmed. The robot is constructed of a transparent hydrogel, which is strong and durable but mostly made of water. As the video below explains, each arm of the robot is constructed from 3D-printed hollow cubes of hydrogel, which are then linked together. By injecting water using a syringe it's possible to make the arms curl and uncurl quickly in a grabbing motion. Cont'd...
Written by AZoRobotics: Most robots achieve grasping and tactile sensing through motorized means, which can be excessively bulky and rigid. A Cornell group has devised a way for a soft robot to feel its surroundings internally, in much the same way humans do. A group led by Robert Shepherd, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and principal investigator of Organic Robotics Lab, has published a paper describing how stretchable optical waveguides act as curvature, elongation and force sensors in a soft robotic hand. Doctoral student Huichan Zhao is lead author of “Optoelectronically Innervated Soft Prosthetic Hand via Stretchable Optical Waveguides,” which is featured in the debut edition of Science Robotics. The paper published Dec. 6; also contributing were doctoral students Kevin O’Brien and Shuo Li, both of Shepherd’s lab. Cont'd.. .
From Leah Burrows and Harvard: A team of Harvard University researchers with expertise in 3-D printing, mechanical engineering, and microfluidics has demonstrated the first autonomous, untethered, entirely soft robot. This small, 3-D-printed robot — nicknamed the “octobot” — could pave the way for a new generation of such machines... ...Through our hybrid assembly approach, we were able to 3-D print each of the functional components required within the soft robot body, including the fuel storage, power, and actuation, in a rapid manner,” said Lewis. “The octobot is a simple embodiment designed to demonstrate our integrated design and additive fabrication strategy for embedding autonomous functionality.”... (full article)
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Schmalz Technology Development - Vacuum Generation without Compressed Air - Flexible and Intelligent
â˘ Vacuum generation that's 100% electrical; â˘ Integrated intelligence for energy and process control; â˘ Extensive communication options through IO-Link interface; Schmalz already offers a large range of solutions that can optimize handling process from single components such as vacuum generators to complete gripping systems. Particularly when used in autonomous warehouse, conventional vacuum generation with compressed air reaches its limits. Compressed air often is unavailable in warehouses. Schmalz therefore is introducing a new technology development: a gripper with vacuum generation that does not use compressed air. The vacuum is generated 100% electrically. This makes the gripper both energy efficient and mobile. At the same time, warehouses need systems with integrated intelligence to deliver information and learn. This enables the use of mobile and self-sufficient robots, which pick production order at various locations in the warehouse. Furthermore, Schmalz provides various modular connection options from its wide range of end effectors in order to handle different products reliably and safely.